Another game-changing athlete is on the way to bolster an offense already oozing with talent at the skill positions. And he won’t have to go far to get comfortable at Ohio State.
The nation’s top-rated all-purpose back was just up the road in the Columbus suburbs, and Urban Meyer did everything he could to make sure there was no reason for Jaelen Gill to take his versatile set of skills elsewhere. The Buckeyes are always going to place a priority on local players who can help the program, but odds are they would have gone anywhere to recruit Gill, if that’s what it took.
Here’s some background information on Gill now that he’s officially signed with the Buckeyes:
Jaelen Gill: Stats, bio
- Name: Jaelen Gill
- Height: 6-foot-1
- Weight: 182 pounds
- School/Team: Westerville (Ohio) South
Jaelen Gill: Recruiting rankings
- National: No. 48
- Position (All-purpose back): No. 1
- State (Ohio): No. 2
Note: Data according to 247Sports composite rankings
Jaelen Gill: Commitment
The dynamic offensive weapon has been on Ohio State’s radar for years, with his offer coming way back when he was just a freshman. The interest certainly never died down as he developed into one of the most impressive skill players in the country, and thanks to his proximity, Gill was frequently around the Buckeyes as a visitor and a camper. Finally in March, Gill made his decision to commit to the Buckeyes in a ceremony at his high school, and he’s remained a key reason why the program is on track to sign the nation’s best class.
Even with home-field advantage, the competition for Gill’s pledge was heated. For starters, he’s a two-sport standout and there has been speculation about whether baseball might have been the path he wanted to follow. And as for his football career, there was interest from coast to coast and USC and UCLA both pushed hard to try to get Gill out of the Buckeye State. Ultimately, the draw to play so close to home won out and the fit was perfect for both parties.
What Jaelen Gill brings to Ohio State
There will always be room for speedy playmakers at Ohio State, and Gill has the potential to be a star in the vaunted H-back position in Meyer’s power-spread system. There are some easy comparisons to be made with guys like Parris Campbell and Curtis Samuel, who have both thrived in a role that prizes the kind of versatility that Gill will bring to the table. He certainly has the ability to be a threat as a rusher despite not being a prototypical tailback, and Ohio State will surely look to get him involved on jet sweeps and pop-passes to help get him into space. That position also needs somebody who can make plays as a receiver, allowing the Buckeyes to create mismatches and put pressure on opposing defenses.
Depending on what happens with some starters who are weighing NFL draft decisions, including Campbell, there could be an opening for playing time right away in that hybrid position for the Buckeyes. So far, all indicators suggest Gill has the physical tools to be a factor quickly in a role that was created for players with his tools.
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